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EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) — In a brazen attack, about a dozen Islamic militants robbed a local bank and traded fire with security forces guarding an unused church in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula on Monday, killing seven people, including three civilians, officials said.
The attackers fired rocket-propelled grenades and traded gunfire with the guards outside the Church of Saint George in the center of el-Arish, security and military officials said. Services at the church were suspended months ago, following a wave of attacks on Christians in Sinai.
Militants - Bank - Pickup - Motorcycle - Outskirts
The militants then robbed a bank before fleeing in a pickup and a motorcycle to the southern outskirts of the city. “They looted the entire bank and left explosive devices inside,” a senior security official said.
The clashes killed three civilians, including a child, three guards and one soldier and wounded another 15 people, including women and children, the officials said. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters.
Spread - City - State - Emergency - Curfew
Panic spread in the city, which has been under a state of emergency and curfew since a series of deadly IS attacks in 2014. A bank employee appeared to have been kidnapped in Monday’s attack, the officials said.
Security forces cordoned off the city center and evacuated residents living in the bank building. Pictures posted on social media by locals from el-Arish showed school girls fleeing a school located in the vicinity of the bank and the...
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